How to be a CX leader: Lessons from LinkedIn
Perry Monaco, Customer Experience Leader at LinkedIn, discusses the evolution of CX and where the role is heading in the future
How to be a CX leader: Lessons from LinkedIn
In anticipation of Perry's briefing at CXN LIVE: North America, in this interview, Perry shares his insights on the evolution of CX and how CX leaders can stay ahead of the game.
What is your current role at LinkedIn?
I’m the Head of Customer Success for one of our largest segments in North America. I manage a portfolio of approximately 30 CX managers and leaders across NA and we have a unique customer base in the sense that our customers are talent acquisition companies, so our solutions are mission critical.
One of the big challenges we now have is that when something isn’t working and needs to be changed, the changes aren't often congruent to where our customers are in their lifecycle. This can be impactful to our customer’s bottom line.
One thing we have done over the last year is enhanced our existing products, whilst also releasing net-new products. What we have been tasked with is managing this change both internally and externally to maximize adoption. We also ensure our teams know what the change curve looks like so we can help manage our partners and customers through the change and move them through to the point of acceptance and adoption.
What key challenges are there to change?
Invariably humans dislike change. When you are working with a mission critical system like ours and there is attachment to the system, there is a knee jerk reaction to not like the change and you become unable to see how the customer experience will improve.
Also, sometimes it is not ideal for our customers when they don’t have the resources available to work through the change. You can’t talk to every single customer – so it is a case of over communicating before the change comes to reduce the element of surprise.
How has the CX leader evolved?
The role of CX leader has transformed over the last few years as the scope has broadened in terms of what our customers expect from us. Several years ago, customer experience was narrower in scope and geared towards the onboarding processes. That was the first touch-point we typically looked at in the industry – to figure our best way to on-board. Since then, it has evolved to be something that looks at the entire life-cycle and the relationship our product has with the customer at all times as opposed to one moment in time all while thinking about scale.
It has been a natural evolution of the role and it now looks at the full customer journey and it is now all about creating memorable milestones as opposed to only focusing on the beginning of the journey.
How can we move away from silos?
One thing incumbent of any successful CX leader to do is to ensure not only is it just their sphere of influence that understands the benefit of the customer experience, but to ensure that it permeates across all departments in the company, from the top to bottom.
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Once you have buy-in from development, executives, technical support and more, they should all understanding the principles of the customer experience and putting the customer first. Putting the customer first is key but we end up putting ourselves [the company] first because it is much easier to (accidentally) do and we understand ourselves far better. CX leaders need to make sure they’re working with other areas of the company to make sure everyone subscribes to the benefits of CX so it becomes part of their DNA.
How should CX practitioners communicate effectively with senior leaders?
It’s about tying a thorough and practical experience together. So, if a customer engages with a product, have an experience which allows them to solve a business problem and see a return on their investment, you will invariably be more successful.
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It isn't about delighting the customer or making sure they have a good relationship with the company – though that is important – it is about making sure that anyone who engages in the product is seeing value and making sure our senior leaders see that.
How do CX leaders understand the organisation values of a company?
An effective customer success leader is someone who understands what success looks like for their customer. If I was a new CX leader of an organisation, I would engage with several peers at the organisation to understand what their individual success plans look like and synthesise them together, giving me a broad idea of what success looks like as a whole for the company.
Sometimes that might differ from the overarching "mission" established by HR or an executive. This isn’t a bad thing, as I’d much rather understand the individual executive success metrics so I can truly understand what I would need to do to be successful so I can speak to their success metrics and make sure I can tie in my own accomplishments. That would be one way to ensure that they tie my goals into the company’s overall objectives.
What can you tell us about your upcoming session?
I’m really excited for the session – we’re talking about the CX experience career as a life-cycle – so where we have come, where the career path is going and where we see the future of the industry heading. We will discuss essential topics for anyone looking for a future in the industry – ultimately providing the scope on what it wakes to be successful.
Ultimately, it will be of great value to hear the different perspectives on the panel, to hear about their success and journeys and get a peak into what the future will look like.